Glossary Definition for: FirstNet

In 2012 Congress authorized the establishment of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) with a goal to "provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety".

Congress and the FCC set aside 20MHz of some of the most valuable nationwide cellular spectrum to dedicate to building FirstNet, and after a long and convoluted process AT&T eventually won the contract to begin bringing FirstNet to life in March 2017.

This spectrum is known as LTE Band 14.

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Throughout 2018, the first FirstNet compatible areas are starting to go live across the country, and a trickle of FirstNet compatible gear is coming to market.

This is great news for public safety.

To access the full priority access capabilities of FirstNet requires a special FirstNet cellular plan and SIM card, but AT&T customers with LTE Band 14 compatible gear will benefit from FirstNet spectrum automatically as well.

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